Residents of the Mpape community have challenged planned demolition by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on the ground that they had in 2012 obtained a court verdict in their favour stopping demolition exercise in the area and it is still binding on all parties.
In a letter seen by MAWA FOUNDATION written by their counsel Femi Falana Chambers and was signed by Mr. Samuel Ogala, a lawyer, sent to the FCTA, the residents reminded the Abuja Authority of a subsisting court judgment they got in 2012 in their favour against the FCTA regarding a planned demolition.
In the letter addressed to Mr. Ikharo Attah, the FCT Ministerial Committee Chairman on City Sanitation, the Mpepe residents drew Attah’s attention to the 2012 incident when the then FCT Minister threatened to demolish houses in Mpape Community which prompted the residents to challenge the planned demolition before the FCT High Court.
And in the suit, Mr. A. I Kutigi, the presiding Judge after considering all legal issues declared among other reliefs that Abuja authority cannot demolish Mpape without strict compliance with the requirement of the applicable laws.
The residents reminded the Abuja authority that since the 2012 verdict, nobody has appealed against it in a superior court, therefore the judgment is still binding on all the parties.
They pointed out that it is strange that the Abuja authority will announce a government plan to demolish Mpape under the guise of enforcing environmental sanitation.
They appealed to Mr. Musa Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory not to disregard the rule of law by disobeying an existing court judgment on Mpape Community. And, should take immediate steps to avert the planned demotion as it amounts to contempt of the curt and places Nigeria in a bad light before the community of nations as a country that has no regard to the law.
The residents demanded the Abuja authority to immediately halt its planned demolition of structures in the Mpape Community and warned that they will commence contempt proceedings against the FCTA if it proceeds in carrying out the demolition exercise.
The FCTA in a press statement through Mr. Ikharo Attah, the FCT Ministerial Committee Chairman on City Sanitation notified the general public of a planned demotion of illegal structures in the Mpape community under the disguise of sanitizing the city.
The announcement threw the entire Mpape community into a panic mood, making them apprehensive that the planned demolition may go beyond the said road corridors and extend to their houses.
For that reason, they approached their counsel Femi Falana Chambers to write the FCAT bringing its attention to the subsisting court judgment on the demolition of MPAPE Community that was obtained in 2012 and has not been set aside by any court of competent jurisdiction.